What is unique about the MA in Contemporary Arts?
A few things! Students get interdisciplinary training in studies of the arts. A focus on practical training prepares students for careers in the arts. Studying in an art school in downtown Vancouver, they are immersed in the contemporary art scene.
How long does the degree take?
4 semesters, from beginning of September to end of December the next year.
Is there a thesis?
No, it’s a coursework-based MA. Students develop a single research project through several courses, getting the equivalent of a MA thesis without the thesis.
What does that practical training entail?
Students do a practicum with a local arts organization to develop skills like arts management, grant writing, communications, curating, programming, archiving, and production. They have the opportunity to share their research with the public by curating an exhibition or other public event, with funding. They gain publishing experience editing the CMA Journal. Intense professionalization: students learn to publish articles, present in public, develop their public profile, and apply for jobs and funds.
What kind of funding is available?
A lot! There are awards you don’t apply for, like entrance scholarships and fellowships, and awards you do apply for, like SSHRC (up to $17,500), BC Arts Council ($6000), and a great number of scholarships and awards. See this useful search engine and the dandy Graduate Student Funding Database on the MA web page.
What is SSHRC?
Glad you asked! The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada awards the Bombardier Master’s scholarship to excellent students. The deadline is December 1, so ideally you would apply for a SSHRC the year before you enter the program, but you can also apply while you are in the program.
What careers does the MA prepare students for?
Careers in the arts: curating and programming, arts writing, festivals, galleries, artist-run centres, arts administration, and arts advocacy. MA students also go on to do PhDs in studies of the arts.